During the Synod on the Family, I have sensed behind many of the more ‘progressive’ opinions voiced the shadowy presence of the ‘fundamental option’ theory. This is not something that I am aware has been mentioned explicitly, but I think it forms part of the assumptions of many prelates seeking changes in Church teaching. This is a re-blog of a post on the fundamental option from last year, which also includes some corrective wisdom from Saint John Paul II, whose feast day it is tomorrow (I’ve updated him from ‘Blessed’ to ‘Saint’ in the post accordingly).
The theory of the fundamental option is a difficult topic to discuss, for many reasons – the primary one though is that it describes something that is very close to the true state of things, and yet does so in a way that is both misrepresentative of those truths, and very attractive to modern minds; another is that it has a direct emotional relevance to all of us (or at least someone we know). I shall address the first point towards the end of my post, but before I take a look at the second, I will briefly outline the essence of this theory, so that it is clear from the start what I am (and am not) talking about. To set the historical context though, first voice must be given to Karl Rahner, who can be said to be the originator of this theory in its fullest form:
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